World from Above: Interview with Drone Photographer Muno Bidhawat
Muno Bidhawat is a Dublin-based photographer specializing in drone photography. His passion backed by talent has landed one of his photographs on the cover of The Irish Times. He is also the winner of the “Best Landscape” category in a 2018 contest organized by AirVūz, a drone video sharing website, and the “Best Cityscape” category by the Shot on DJI drone community. While predominantly known for his aerial shots, he is also a successful portrait photographer. During his 2018 trip to India, he took a series of portraits of random strangers and returned a year later to photograph them holding photos of themselves from year before. We caught up with Muno and asked him a few questions about his career and how he hones his craft.
In your opinion, how important is having a unique style as a photographer? How would you describe your style?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I wouldn’t say I have a particular style, I like to mix things up and try different things, especially when it comes to aerial photography. When I’m shooting landscapes I have some sort of idea what I’d like my aerial shot to be like. I make sure I get every bit of detail in the frame. When I’m shooting on the ground I like to shoot people who I meet along the way or interesting things I see people doing. People fascinate me especially on the other side of the world. The majority of my ground photography has been based in India. I feel more confident shooting portraits there. All my portraits have a story behind them and they are people who I have interacted with in some ways, big or small. I believe the story behind the picture is more important, well to me anyways.
Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
I have been influenced by and learnt a great deal from many creators over the past year, including Darren from @dublinsnap and Fred from @rawdublin. At first, I followed their work on Instagram and eventually met up with them. We quickly made friends and soon they introduced me to other very talented photographers. We have a small group where we bounce ideas and do projects together. We learn a lot from each other, which has put me on a great creative path.
According to you, what makes a good picture stand out from the average?
It can be a few things, like the photographer’s eye for detail to ensure that all elements within the photo: the lighting, the composition, the subject, and everything else in between, work together harmoniously to convey the right vision or message behind the photo.
What’s the one piece of photo gear you couldn’t live without?
For me it would be my selection of ND filters. I would be lost without them. I use PolarPro – they make such a huge difference, especially when editing the picture in post. I like to play around with the colours and lighting to see what I can come up with. I use Adobe Lightroom to edit all my pictures, I couldn’t recommend it more.
Do you have a single favourite photo you have taken so far? Could you explain the background story behind it?
I have two, actually. The first one would be the portrait of my grandmother – my biggest photography fan and critic. The colours in the picture and the detail of her face make it such a beautiful photo. The second one would be an old lady and her grandchild because of the story behind it and how I met them. I returned a year later to give her the picture only to find out the grandchild has since passed away. It just comes to show you how powerful a picture can be.
Any final words of advice or encouragement to aspiring photographers out there?
The only way to learn is to invest time and keep shooting. You’d be surprised what you can learn from watching Youtube videos or other photographers, big or small. Don’t be afraid to take risks and experiment with editing. Lastly, don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Stay creative.
Thanks for reading this interview with Muno Bidhawat. Be sure to follow him on Instagram here. Feel free to let us know of any other Instagram creatives you would like us to reach out to in the comments below. If you’re a photographer yourself and want to be featured on our blog, please contact us at [email protected].
All photos used in this post are © Muno Bidhawat, used with permission. Use of any content from this page, for any purpose, is strictly forbidden.